Wednesday, 5 August 2009

One word from me

We have a slight problem at the moment. Isobel seems to have started smacking.

Now there is no doubt that this has been picked up from nursery as she has never seen any one raise their hand at home.

On several occasions, three to be exact, I have caught the same little thug boy smacking Isobel. He has been greeted with the nursery standard response 'Sad choice'.

The tone of this utterance seemed to only have an effect on me; it made me sad.

So what do I expect them to do: be stern at the very least. I know you mustn't label a child as 'bad'... I know, I know, but...

How do you discipline an under 2 year old?; how do I stop 17 month old Isobel before she really starts?

I am in no doubt that, no way, no how, will anyone lift a finger to, or even come close to smacking her. If I do I will have failed not her but me too. If anyone else does, it will be all I can do not to smack them, and hard. (But not when Isobel can see as that would be setting a very bad example...)

Right now I bring her raised hand down and say 'No' but is that the right thing?

As for naughty steps: how naughty can a step be?

How much of a banishment is it when that's where we put our shoes on and eat our apples.


Perfectly Happy Mum said...

I see exactly what you mean, as we have faced the same situation with Elliott. Like you we do not raise our hands at home and to some extend I wonder how much of a natural and instinctive thing it is for them?
I have been heartbroken so many times seeing other kids hitting or pushing my little boy. For a long time he would put one hand on his hip and the other one pointing at the kid and "No, Naughty!". That use to make me so proud of him. But then he started hitting back. Now when do you stop this I am not sure. What I do and I know not everyone agrees, is that I stand back now and if I see him hitting back because he has been hit a fair amount of time after saying no, I sometime close my eyes. If it becomes too much OR if he starts it, that's a complete different story. I get involved and take the necessary action: say sorry, that's naughty and if need be naughty corner.
the thing is that he knows it is wrong and I think it is because we have always been consistent in telling him it is naughty to hit or push or hurt. They will all do it, even the nicest of child.
It is important to remember that the kids who hits or pushes is not a bad kid indeed, he could be that he has learnt to express himself like this. I am not saying that's correct, but unfortunately it is down to the parents or gardian of that kid not you. So I would say, with Isobel, don't over analyse the situation at this stage. Reinforce your disapproval when she hits because she is frustrated and stay consistent. She will know it is naughty and eventually it will get better. If it gets worse, then try a different method. I hope it makes sense... sorry if it is not very helpful :)

Who's the Mummy? said...

Lol at "Sad Choice".


I have to say that I always discussed hitting with Flea when we saw other kids doing it and my line from her being 12 months or so was "We don't do that" or sometimes "That is definitely not okay."

I'd then remove her from the situation or wait until we were somewhere else and say something like: "Hmm. What do you think would be a better thing to do than hitting if someone took a toy/pushed you/whatever?"

She'd then come up with her own coping mechanisms that I thought WERE okay - so she'll now tend to say things like, "I am going to go to my room until I am calmer" if she's getting very upset, or she might use words to say, "I am feeling a bit cross with you now because..."

On the two occasions she has lashed out, I just stopped everything, made very clear eye contact and said: "No. We don't hit." and then asked her very calmly to go to her room until she felt she could talk about feeling cross rather than hitting.

cartside said...

while of course we too try everything to discourage hitting, shoving, pushing, kicking and biting, I wonder if it may not be the case that children will be physical when trying to get what they want and some degree of letting this happen may be something that is natural for them. I don't really have an answer and wonder about this a lot too, having to negotiate between two 2 year olds who are often at the verge of hitting out.

I worry, if I let my daughter not ever hit or get hit, what will happen once she's at nursery, at school? Will she get bullied? Will she really always be able to solve conflict without physical anger? Is this ideal to high up to actually achieve, but something nevertheless to aspire to?

Really not sure.

zooarchaeologist said...

I naughty step and it works for us. I also tell toddler boy that what he is doing makes me sad. which is something that I got told to do on my parenting course. That also seems to work. I think its a case of just removing the child from the situation and explaining why. The important thin is to be consistent so they know where they stand.
Toddler boy gets into scraps, sometimes he hits and shoves, sometimes he is the shoved. I think thats just what happens. You have to turn a blind eye to some of it. I found that when I came down too hard on Toddler boy for doing it he just stood there and let the other kids do it to him. Thats no good either.
Another thing we do is take away a toy and put it on a high shelf if the toy is thrown. That has stopped a lot of toy throwing which is probably what is going to occur next in your house!

Coding Mamma (Tasha) said...

It's a difficult one at that age, for sure. What we did with Rosemary, was just say 'We don't like hitting/biting. What do we like? Kisses and cuddles and raspberries and tickling!' (with actions to match). It worked very well for a long time, but recently she has occasionally hit us when feeling very frustrated. Now she's older, we use 'That's unacceptable,' as well as 'We don't like that,' So far, she hasn't done it again immediately and tends to apologise immediately instead. If she did keep doing it, she would get two minutes (hmm, maybe three now?!) in her room to 'think about what you did'. But I don't, personally, think Isobel's ready for that level of discipline (others may disagree though!).

I really liked following up with nice things to do, and was particularly chuffed when she would do that to children who had hit out at her - so sweet to see an angry whack responded to with kisses and cuddles!

Laura McIntyre said...

We do naughty corner or naughty bedroom if they will not stay . Bedroom is not to bad as it is full of toys which they can play with but they normally are annoyed enough with just being put in there room.

Its hard when there still so young , with my youngest daughter (almost 3 now) we did do sort of time outs at that age. If she done something wrong she was told to go to the corner and she did , she would not stay but come straight out for a kiss and cuddle. She quickly learned that she was doing something wrong when she got put in the corner and even now it helps loads

Surprised and Excited Mum said...

Thank you all for this.

I think the messages you are sending are all things I agree with, it's just hard at this age.

I suppose I just try and then it will be habit by the time she really understands.

Anonymous said...

Great post. Great questions. Alas, and as normal I have no answers but love reading everyone elses reponses.

Hot Cross Mum said...

Such a tough one to answer. We've been through the same with both boys - have used the naughty step (although I think this is now very 'last year' as my friends with younger children keep referring to having a 'Time Out' (which I thought was a chocolate bar). Anyway, hopefully repeated and consistent reinforcement that this is not acceptable will pay off in the long run. Good luck.

Insomniac Mummy said...

I tell my 2 year old that mummy and daddy don't smack him so he shouldn't smack other people.

We use the naughty corner for time out which usually works.

Oddly he never tries to smack me, that honour is reserved for his daddy.